28 August 2015

This 'n' That

I love bookstores, and I lament that so many of them have closed nationwide. It was a pleasant surprise, then, a couple of weeks ago to come across a rather large Barnes and Noble. Upon entering, I walked right over to the section of journals and gifts. Why bother looking at actual books when Amazon is always cheaper?

As I perused the shelves of journals and photo albums, some plain leather, some slobbering with frou-frou flowers and corny sayings, I spied the product that you see to your right.

Ah, yes, the selfie—the defining icon of our day. It is, after all, all about us, isn't it? That is what social media would tell us, and that is what we affirm to one another each time we "like" someone's latest selfie (or one of the many, many pictures of their children) on Facebook. In fact, I ask you, parent, do you spend more time looking at your child through the lens of your iPhone than not? If so, I beg you to repent.

The reality is, long before the days of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, we all took photos and attempted to preserve memories with our families. But we didn't share every one of these with our friends, let alone near-strangers. We did not feel the need to document, in word or in photo, every waking moment of our lives so as to offer a play-by-play to others. We enjoyed our vacations without desiring to spur jealousy in others by posting daily pictures of sand and sun. Our kids traversed off to their first day of school—usually after posing for the obligatory photo—but the photo was preserved for future walks down memory lane, not distributed for all within eyeshot to share their thoughts and comments.

To be sure, it is a sign of the age in which we live that we are daily inundated and confronted with a narcissistic, selfie culture. But, Christian, we are not to be of the world! Look at your Facebook page. Does it reflect the world? Is it filled with pictures of self and family? What is your motivation for posting these? Are you seeking affirmation and approval and compliments from others? What about your Twitter stream (and Twitter is my social media of choice, so this hits home)? Your Instagram account? Have you, in essence, filled your own "selfie scrapbook" by means of these social media accounts?

Please, do not fill the comment box with cries of "Legalist!" No, rather, go, examine yourself and examine your heart and motivations. Trust me, reader, I say this to myself as much as I say it to you. And remember that every sphere of our life must be lived to the glory of God. May the sacrifice of Christ our Savior motivate us to right thinking, even in the social media realm.

So put down that selfie stick and instead sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Phil Johnson tweeted about this not-yet-released book on MLJ and now it's in my Amazon shopping cart.
  • For the person who has everything…nubrella.
  • You know me, I don't agree with much of what comes out of TGC, but I did appreciate some of the content of this article discussing the dangers of women in the church merely turning into clones. Stepford Wives, anyone?
  • There's still plenty of strange fire to go around, and Lyndon Unger joins the conversation.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • This recent sermon from Don Green is a must listen.
  • Is Carl Trueman an accidental feminist?
  • The latest on Tullian Tchividjian is, sadly, not all that surprising. 
  • The killer of all spiritual life:

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